Living in the Midwest, Missourians are ripe for the post-storm blight otherwise known as “storm chasers.”
What’s a “Storm Chaser”? Following bouts of severe weather, these unscrupulous contractors descend upon unsuspecting Missourians like a plague of locusts.
Unlicensed and uninsured, these out-of-town contractors don’t care about the quality of their work. They’re just out to make a quick buck. As long as the check clears, these contractors couldn’t care less. There are no long-term implications because there are no long-term plans. Get in and get out, lining their pockets along the way.
Others are even worse, scaring homeowners into paying large sums of money up front and then skipping town, never to be heard from again.
How to Spot Storm Chasers
1. Check their license plates.
A company with out-of-state license plates is bad news. Storm chasers won’t bother registering their vehicles with the State of Missouri because they’re not moving here.
2. Ask for a business address.
Most storm chasers will set up a P.O. Box instead of an actual office.
3. Check with the Better Business Bureau.
If they’re unlisted or only recently listed, they’re likely a scammer.
How to Protect Yourself from Storm Chasers
With a few simple tips, you can protect yourself from these (and other) scammers. Whenever hiring a contractor, always ask for three key documents:
* Contractor’s License
* Proof of Liability Insurance
* Proof of Workers’ Compensation Insurance
A contractor’s license is common knowledge. Without a license, this person could be a career criminal or just plain unqualified for the job. It’s also a prerequisite for the other required documents.
Don’t neglect asking for proof of liability insurance! Even when dealing with established contractors, always check for proof of liability insurance. Roofing insurance is notoriously expensive because little mistakes can lead to costly repairs.
Another often forgotten step—but still vitally important!—is to check for Workers’ Compensation Insurance. As Americans, we love to cheat the system, but sometimes the system is there for your protection. If a worker falls off your roof and he’s not covered by worker’s compensation, guess who’s held responsible? You guessed it: You are!
“But I didn’t know they weren’t insured” isn’t a viable legal defense.
The Importance of Using Local Contractors
Unlike storm chasers, local contractors rely on their reputation and referrals for business. A quality job and a happy customer are the lifeblood of local contractors. Dishonest local contractors do not stay in business.
Collins Roofing, on the other hand, has served the greater Kansas City area for over 37 years. We’re proud to serve the communities of Kansas City, Independence, Liberty, Blue Springs, Oak Grove, Odessa, Grandview, Lees Summit, Overland park, North of the River and all the wonderful communities of Clay, Jackson and Johnson counties.
We’ve worked hard to build our reputation as an honest, reliable roofing contractor. There are no unknowns with us. When you hire Collins Roofing, you’re hiring a roofing contractor with an extensive history of quality work and customer satisfaction.
Do you know someone who has been burned by a “Storm chaser”? Tell us about it in the comments!